Yes, fashion can give a message. This time, Chiuri and Piccioli move away from Rome, still looking at the beginning of time, landing in wild and tribal Africa. At first, I have to say that having been born in Africa, in Bangui (capital of the Republic of Central Africa to be more precise), I was raised and brought up on this rich land for more than a decade. As I am typing this review, I’m actually back in Africa, back to the source, visiting my family and looking for inspiration. I couldn’t help it, as the models hit the catwalk and the beat of the music got stronger, tears filled my eyes and I felt satisfied and happy to see that finally a beautiful vision of Africa was portrayed.
Italy as a European country located facing the African continent has been dealing with a severe humanitarian crisis for the past two years with thousands of refugees arriving from Senegal, Nigeria, Mali and other countries. I loved learning that the message behind this collection is actually “tolerance” and showing the world that we can all actually improve by “understanding other cultures”. Beauty can only come from that.
The strength of this collection resides in the beautiful way designers Chiuri and Piccioli were able to balance between Italian and African traditions. I love for example how the gladiator leather strips became studded, how the sandals had a carved ebony heel, how the necklaces were created in white ceramic and the use of peacock feather.
The strongest silhouette is vertical, embellishments are taken to a whole new level. My heart fell for the long tunics held at the neck with necklaces, feathers, ornaments. I loved how they recreate the traditional African printed fabric, it was draped in different ways for several pieces and for me it reflected perfectly a contemporary vision of what I see everyday on the street here in my country. Everything about this collection takes us closer to the earth, especially the warm color palette: shades of brown, white, black but a lot of green, yellow, orange. It was vibrant, full of energy and the music was incredibly well done, I was moving my shoulders while enjoying the excellence of the designs.
Having grown up on this land, I appreciate fashion for its artistic side and I find it very unique when the designers actually dig deeper and decide to spread messages. In a world where the digital is taking over human contact, it’s beautiful to be celebrating individuality.